Let squatters move into Coverley, says Prescod

An Opposition Member of Parliament has suggested that Government purchase some of the unsold houses in the Villages at Coverley for Barbadians in need of accommodation.

Parliamentary representative for St Michael East Trevor Prescod offered that as a possible housing solution Tuesday, while speaking in the House of Assembly on a resolution to acquire the site of the old District ‘E’ Police Station in Station Hill, St Peter and vest it in the National Housing Corporation for housing development.

The outspoken parliamentarian argued that successive governments have been unable to provide enough housing to meet the demand, even though there were parcels of unused land and houses in the country.

He spoke specifically about the Coverley, Christ Church project. Prescod noted that while a significant number of houses had been completed, it was unclear what the developer was doing with them as many remained unoccupied.

“Are we going to allow this contractor or this investor to keep those houses up there for 20 years while we have poor people around Barbados in need of housing? You people classify my constituents as squatters who save up a little money to buy plywood to build a little house and get a bed and other pieces of furniture to enjoy life. Do you believe you should hurt these people?” he questioned.

Prescod argued that in the same way Barbados has joined with other Caribbean countries to seek reparations from former colonial masters, it should also be asking “local agents of our colonial masters” for compensation as well.

“We are not going to rob the developer of anything. This Government can pay him out so that I can have some of my constituents living in Coverley. Good conditions are up there and, like any one of us, my constituents should be allowed to enjoy the conditions.

“I want these people to be able to drive a small car into a garage, in a house made of stone. People who sweat over the years deserve better. Some of them ended up with a bent back at 35 years old working on . . . the estate in the Belle; some worked on the estate in Waterford. That explains why I am calling for reparations. Severe damage has been done to these people. It is nothing about radicalism, it is nothing about socialism. It is humanly correct. It is realism,” he argued.

Calling on authorities to stop “harassing” people who authorities consider “squatters” in the Belle, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) parliamentarian added: “If you have a problem with the people who live in the Belle, give them accommodation in Coverley.”

During his contribution to the debate, Prescod took issue with the derogatory terms that have been used to describe some of his constituents, including those living in the Belle.

He said words like “squatters” and “vagrants” and even “imbeciles” – which he claimed he had seen written on files in the Immigration Department to refer to some members of society – suggested that those individuals were seen as sub-human and not worthy of proper accommodation.

Meantime, Prescod offered Government another land-related suggestion. He said lands in St John belonging to collapsed insurance company CLICO should be parceled out to policyholders who were still awaiting compensation.

9 Responses to Let squatters move into Coverley, says Prescod

  1. kathy-Ann Clarke June 15, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Hmm, do not know if that will sit well with Maloney.

    Reply
  2. Belfast June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I recall many years ago making a suggestion in the press of organising the Pick of de Crop held at Barclays Park into a village setting, by moving it to the nearby Cattlewash community. In double quick time fences and guard walls began to spring up at Cattlewash , or Cattlekeepout.
    Coverley already has the Glendairy type guard walls, Prescod’s suggestion may well see Coverley being turned into another gated community,complete with guards and guard dogs.

    Reply
  3. Frank White June 15, 2017 at 10:37 am

    This is not a good suggestion as no one sent those guys there to squat although I am not in favour of bulldozing the either so here’s a suggestion…

    Allocate land for these squatters, then let a team from the NHC along with minister Kellman, go into the squatting area and interview all the residents. This interview would be to ascertain who want to and is in a position to own their own land. This will eliminate the number of households the department would have to assist. Fast track the land sale with the credit unions, fast track the water installations and the BL&P for temporary supplies.

    The full cost of the roads, water pipes and all electrical installations can be spread evenly on the land sales as this would help recover cost for the fast track infrastructure..

    The others who can’t afford the cost of this move, would be given another location where the cost would be more favourable to their budget…

    Reply
  4. Emerson Bryan June 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Makes sense!

    Reply
  5. smiley June 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Prescod that is crazy any one can be a scatter and get a free home just so. Which planet you from

    Reply
  6. kathy-ann Clarke June 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Frank White, I love what you said.
    I do not think people set out to squat, but with the high cost of house and land packages, and then the stress of having to obtain a mortgage, and your salary not adding up, all of these measures would make anyone go and buy some second hand lumber, and put up a shanty.
    Especially if you have a family to take care of.

    Reply
  7. Cecil brooks June 15, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    The government is saying that the 2bedroom appt at the grotto cost them $440000each. We know who built these units,that person should give Bach to this society in the form of not less than 20 2bedroom units to help with the housing shortage in this island.

    Reply
  8. Avonda June 16, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Why would a person want to work to pay taxes when they can squat and get free accomodation paid for the gainfully enployed taxpayers? I am ready to quit my job now and wait to be placed in a nice expensive spot like coverley. When i last checked, the cheapest house was well over $289,000.

    And the tax payers will have to incur further taxes in order for the government to purchase homes at coverley. Hmm. I already paying for the PM to drive around a brand new state of the art mercedes… i also paying for rav 4s and 4×4 for various ministers or ministry workers to drive around on weekends… so no no. I am not trying to be harsh but i can’t afford anymore strain on my finances.

    Its time for the government officals to drive their own cars, pay for their own housing, travel and hotel accomodation so as to raise enough money to help the citizens out of homelessness. It is frustrating to be hearing how as citizens we need to help and sacrifice in the form of more taxes but the ministers just laughing at we and spending we money on themselves.

    I would like the PM to stop hosting expensive dinners for return I wud not be surprised if they introduced a time card/check in system for teachers. He does not pay for that out of his pocket. Who in their right mind would reward tourists for being tourists? That is crazy.

    I am sure that many bajans are repeat visitors to other countries but none of the heads of government hosts thank you dinners for them.

    Collect the taxes from all the hotels that owe. The finance minister said something about easing those commiteed to guarabtee a tourism product because BIM need the lil business but who will want to travel to a place where the citizens suffering?

    People owe plenty money for the housing units too but nobody will try to recover that money. Election time coming up.

    The country has many ways of correcting its financial problems without imposing higher taxes.

    Reply
  9. Donild Trimp June 20, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    The solution is to bulldoze all the illegally built structures by the squatters.

    This entitlement mentality cannot be allowed to continue in Barbados.

    Deport the illegals, bulldoze the illegally built structures and let’s return respect for authority back to the way it should be.

    Let me hear and see some Politicians with balls dealing with all this foolishness.

    Reply

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